The 2019 Super Bowl Commercial Postmortem: An Unassuming Year
From too many robots, (I’m looking at you TurboTax), more of the same from the snack people, (that means you Pepsi, Doritos, and Pringles), and an altogether unusual BK commercial with Andy Warhol, overall it was an unremarkable year for Super Bowl Commercials.
It shouldn’t be, considering that at an average $5 million for less than one minute of airtime, it’s the most expensive marketing investment there is. Saying it’s the “Super Bowl of Advertising” is accurate.
There were standouts, which I’ll touch on, but nothing I can say we’ll be talking about for years, or add to the record books as Best Practices.
Here are my Top 5 2019 Super Bowl commercials. These made the cut based on conceptual originality, memorability, and creative execution. Keep in mind that the goal of advertising is to be memorable and top of mind, (not necessarily to have everyone like something).
Bud Light and Game of Thrones
Bud Light’s Jousting Match commercial, which unexpectedly turned into a Game of Thrones promo, was a clear winner. Crossover ads are always tricky, and this could’ve easily gone wrong, but it was a brilliant execution. A jousting match, something you would often see on the show, ends with The Mountain killing the Bud Knight, a popular Budweiser character. It overshadowed Budweiser’s other commercials, like that one for corn syrup.
And at a whopping $9.4 million investment, that’s worth all the Seven Kingdoms combined.
Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller
Microsoft’s spot for their new Xbox Adaptive Controller designed for people with disabilities tugged at your heartstrings, but in an unexpected way. In the real-life accounts of children coming together, you see that their disabilities were no longer visible once they were playing. Everyone was on equal footing, connecting with each other, as children should.
Because truly, what better message to send to the world right now than, “When everybody plays, we all win.”
Stella Artois Change Up the Usual
In a commercial year, that did very little to “change up the usual” Stella Artois challenged us to do just that by featuring Sarah Jessica Parker in her iconic SATC role, and Jeff Bridge’s as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowsky.
The unlikely pair is shown ordering an even more unlikely beverage. Compare this to the Olay commercial with Sarah Michelle Gellar, which was good, but not as well executed as Carrie meets The Dude.
Google 100 Billion Words and Jobs for Veterans
Both of these commercials were amazingly executed with simple, but thought provoking voiceovers and visuals that really made each one impactful.
Skittles The Commercial: A Broadway Musical
Skittles definitely wins for originality and out-of-the box execution. Equal parts bucking the system and their attempt at post-modern art, Skittles opted out of producing a traditional commercial and instead, created a promo stating that they weren’t doing a commercial and that on February 3rd, Michael C. Hall, best known as Dexter, would be performing live on Broadway.
Tickets were sold with proceeds going to charity. The performance had a Playbill with fake ads and even some songs, because you know, Broadway. You can read more about it here.
Skittles did what no one dared, and opened the door for new advertising mediums, particularly bigger and more impactful interactive channels that may pop up in 2020 when the Super Bowl hits Miami.
Here’s hoping the future of Super Bowl advertising is more new and less of the same.
And if I know my hometown - we definitely LIV big.